Gig Seeker Pro


Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Arma Live at Double Door"

SouthSide felt her mojo rising when Arma kicked off the night with a thrilling performance. This type of set had lots of energy perfect in getting the audience momentum switched on high. That same momentum also fueled Taylor (Arma’s front man) to channel his inner Jim Morrison as he moved about the sage. There was one song in which the percussion in a tribal beat had him dancing wildly. Yet it was the band’s Santana-like guitar sound that really had this audience going. The songs had a wide spectrum of riffs and chords which would have Guitar Hero fans doing their best airplay. Performing songs like In the Black Light and Carrier, Arma dazzled and amazed everyone with head-banging guitar sound. During one song, there was a wicked guitar instrumental that certainly was a crowd pleaser. If you’re looking for some mojo in your rock, Arma is definitely the band for you. - Southside on the Town

"Demo2Dero: Arma"

January 18, 2009


Formed last year on the West Side of Chicago by vocalist Taylor Brennan, guitarist Alejandro Guzman, bassist Mike Cali and drummer Ben Ludwig, ARMA doesn't have much to say by way of hyping itself: The band hasn't even bothered to post a bio on its Web site (, and its members aren't much more loquacious in e-mails. But they don't really have to be when they have songs as strong as "Metropolis" and "Believe" from their recent self-titled EP.

With fluid and sometimes trippy grooves, Arma sports an intriguing mix that's already landing the group some impressive gigs. - Chicago Sun-Times

"Chicago Rock Report: Arma"

June 2009 Issue

by: Tony Amaro

"Arma fits no simple category. One song will be U2 in the intro and break into a deafening assault akin to Soundgarden only to hit a guitar solo measure backed by a funky progressive style like the Mahavishnu Orchestra with clear Carlos Santana heart and topped with Taylor’s high vocal range like an early Geddy Lee in a more free form. And it works…all of it.

As was evident with their last song of the set “Metropolis” which was filled with action, not just Ben’s drumming clearly amped by what he saw playing in front of him, not just Taylor’s rocking motion, almost caged animal movements coiling the mic chord like an unraveled length of rope, and not just by Alejandro and Mike jumping in unison to the beat of the song. Not losing time, not missing a chord, but all powered by the feel of the music…the feel. It just wasn’t a ”moment” for the band, it was an experience heightened by their music." -

"Performer Magazine: Live Review"

by Sasha Geffen

Reminiscent of the Mars Volta at their most compact and least pretentious, Arma retained an incredible stamina, never wavering in their energy. Lead singer Taylor Brennan's vocal endurance was perhaps most impressive; he belted at full volume the whole way through the set, never once growing hoarse. Guitarist Alejandro Guzman played atop an army of pedals, feeding increasingly complex riffs through a variety of effects. Brennan danced across the whole expanse of the stage without any hint of pretense, just caught up in the energy of the song. - Performer Magazine

"Arma Live at Double Door (12/17)"

Fans will immediately notice that with Arma's unique sound songs have a personality of their own. So don't expect to hear the same riff or chords twice in the next song. You too will want to dance to the tribal beat with Taylor (Arma's energetic lord of the dance) while feeling each intense rhythm performed. The fun, however, isn't contained just to the stage either. Sometimes there were moments when Arma's music can start sporadic moshing and wild fan dancing amongst the audience. Still watch out for those sudden (and sometimes hidden) chord changes which will leave you wanting more. SouthSide highly suggests rockin' to their new song, Hypnic Jerk. This song had subtle tempos and waves of crescendoing riffs that paused for a dramatic crash of explosive sound at the middle. And the highlight of the night was their cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song with an Arma twist. They truly released their inner rock demons during Carrier and Metropolis. This reviewer highly suggests catching this band in 2010 at a venue near you. - Southside on the Town

"The Deli Magazine: Arma"

Arma is a band that defies categorization. At its core, Arma is a rock band, but latin and world grooves mixed with crashes of time signature changes makes the band a stand-out from their peers. Arma has gained a reputation as one of most intense live acts in Chicago. Vocalist Taylor Brennan has been likened to a caged animal, and bassist Mike Cali and guitarist Alejandro Guzman groove, thrash, and jump to the bands explosive rhythms, complemented by drummer Ben Ludwig's complex, crashing fills. Drawing comparisons to a digestible Mars Volta, an experimental Soundgarden, or a manic U2; Arma continues to develop their unique sound and perform across the windy city. - The Deli Magazine

"Chicago's Hardest Working Band"

by: Andy Keil

Arma is a local band that has been battling its way through the Chicago music scene during the past year with its Mars Volta-esque prog-rock. “Welcome to our castle,” said Taylor Brennan, the band’s lead singer, as we wound our way through a maze of practice spaces tucked into Pilsen’s industrial district. Their small claim in the “castle” is a narrow 10-foot by 30-foot sanctuary crammed with amps and instruments since the space is split with their friends, the band De La Parka. Hunkered in the room are the rest of the band members, guitarist Alejandro Guzman, bassist Mike Cali and drummer Ben Ludwig. They usually meet in the small space two to three times a week.

After the band practiced some new songs, The Chronicle sat down with the members of Arma to discuss why they think they are one of Chicago’s hardest working bands.

The Chronicle: How long have you guys been a band?

Ben Ludwig: A year, just about.
Taylor Brennan: It’s not even the official year date, it was the end of November and it all happened within the course of a day. Ben and Alex and I were in this other band with this other guy who wrote pretty much 100 percent of the songs. He was a lot older than us, like 30. I moved here from Rhode Island because of him, but I haven’t spoken to him since the day [we broke up]. Our humor just didn’t match up. So that ended really quickly.
BL: I think I made a mother joke to him and he just wanted to [kill] me.
TB: The timing worked well for us.

The Chronicle: How did you guys settle on the sound?

BL: We never talked about what we wanted to sound like, we just sit down and play whatever, and then we rule out stuff that sounds too cheesy or generic.
TB: We all come from very different musical places. Mike and Ben were in a metal band before, and they brought in influence from that. The range of what [Alex] likes is the most diverse of anyone I’ve ever met. That guy will go from death metal like Pantera [to] Phil Collins on the same playlist.

The Chronicle: So that’s your songwriting process, you record jams and then pick out the pieces?

Mike Cali: It’s kind of half and half, part improvising and part thought-out songwriting.
TB: One person will start playing, Mike will fill in [on bass], Ben will fill in [on drums], and then they’ll come up with something. Ben is a recording guy so he’ll take all the pieces and go home and build it then send it out to me and I’ll play around with it.
BL: Recording practice helps a lot. Because we’ll just hit record and jam out for 20 minutes, and there will be little bits and pieces that we forget about. They’ll end up being major choruses in the song.

The Chronicle: How many shows have you played in your first year?

TB: We’ve played about 30 to 35 shows in Chicago and the surrounding area and we had a six-show tour in the Northeast. Overall, the tour was a great experience and we worked really hard to put it all together, and everybody had a part.

The Chronicle: So it was very grassroots?

TB: Yeah, it was kind of like road testing the band. We all wanted to go on the road eventually to see if this will actually work.
BL: So we tried it for a week-and-a-half instead of committing to three months with a label or something.
TB: One of the most rewarding things of the tour was Vermont; everything fell through with Vermont. We had a great venue booked that died on us last minute so we found another place to play with three touring bands that all had label support. They had all these guys—booking manager, a tour manager—and when they got there, they were so misinformed. Some bands have the mentality, “We’re signed to some kind of label, we should be getting paid now.” It just doesn’t work that way.

The Chronicle: How do you use the social media explosion to your advantage?

BL: We’ll do Facebook and MySpace, but in my past experience, that only goes so far. Meeting people face-to-face and giving out physical CDs to physical people goes so much further than the Internet. I’d say a comfortable balance between the two [is important.] You can’t be a band and not have some sort of presence on the Internet.

The Chronicle: What band can you all agree on?

MC: I think [The Mars] Volta might be one of the only bands that we all listen to.
TB: Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Incubus, Muse and … The Mars Volta.

For additional information visit - The Columbia Chronicle

"Live at Subterranean"

It was psychedelic rock taken to a whole new level. Arma's music was so intense that it had SouthSide wanting to join Taylor on stage for that tribal dance. Throughout this performance, the guitar riffs were mindblowing ...hearing chords that change from one dimension to the next. For example during Arma's In The Blacklight, the crowd heard riffs which went beyond anyone's comprehension. The song had everyone embracing its dark tone as well as feeling the uncharted melodies. Crashing back to reality when the song was finished was hard but certainly worth it. SouthSide also enjoyed the debut of the band's new song. The rising crescendo off the guitars led into a fiery burst of vocals and music. Fans instantly felt jolts of energy within this song that had them banging their heads to the music. It was even intense enough to start a mini mosh pit scene near the front of the stage. Arma really rocked the SubT with their version of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. SouthSide suggest snagging their new CD this holiday season and get ready to experience psychedelic like never before. For more information, visit Arma at or - Southside On The Town


"Arma" EP
1. Metropolis
2. Believe
3. Before the Dawn
4. Killer in Radio
5. The World He Comes From
6. With This Light

"In The Blacklight" EP
1. In the Blacklight
2. Enkidu
3. Carrier
4. Fugue State
5. Rack, Reign and Ruin
6. And the Rest

"Samples of Delirium"
1. Triple e.vasive
2. Delirium
3. Automatism
4. Whistler
5. English Army
6. Hypnic Jerk
7. The Fastest Kids on Lupe St.
8. Borders
9. Metropolis



Barely two years after the members of Arma got together for the first time, the band released "Samples of Delirium", a collection of songs they believe is finally on the right track to the sound the four members have been working toward. This after 2 self-released EP's and 2 national tours.

The 9-track collective contains an eclectic mix of sounds and dynamics, challenging the modern rock formats with progressive song structures, elements of latin grooves, and unique melodies.

There are times when the band is as hectic as The Mars Volta, as charged as Rage Against the Machine, or quiet and spacey like U2; sometimes all within the same song.

Arma's live show is where the intense dynamics and musicianship shine through most, and there is rarely a still moment. Vocalist Taylor Brennan, Guitarist Alejandro Guzman, and Drummer Ben Ludwig feed off each song's individual energy.

With the release of Samples of Delirium, Arma's main goal is growing beyond Chicago. After 2 years as a band and hundreds of shows performed, the band wants to bring their interpretation of modern rock music past the city's limits.